Since all members of this group are atheists, and most of us are women, I just wanted to get a feel for what you all think is important about being a female atheist. Or perhaps, what is so important about being female and rejecting religion? I know personally, I have issues with the gender dichotomy which Christianity especially likes to push as the only acceptable way to be; I just feel like it hurts women more than it helps. I'd just like to get some outside views on this if you would all be gracious enough to oblige - and guys, your opinions matter too!
Permalink Reply by M on January 27, 2009 at 10:50pm
but this indoctrinated submission stems so deep into the psyche, that i think it will take decades, if not centuries to truly uproot. I mean, if you look at basic sexual behaviour, with human beings, it is the male figure that is generally supposed to be the dominant, which means that this stems to the very basic instincts and cannot be eliminated easily. i would elaborate, but i'm afraid if i speculate any longer, i will point out how little i really know about psychology :)
One of the major issues with the Big Three religions for me personally is that women are inherently "unclean"
They are the reason mankind fell. From the very beginning, the deck was stacked against us. We aren't our own entities, we are part of Adam. Eve tempted him with the fruit, causing the original sin. The Gnostic texts and Dead Sea scrolls tell of another woman, one created by God the same way Adam was, but somehow that story didn't make it into the Bible. Mary Magdaline was a prostitute, though there is no mention of that until decades after Christ's death. Delilah, Jezzabelle, Eve..those are the cannons that define womenhood in Christianity. Funny how the great male leaders were just as sinful -and this is documented- but they are only remembered for their GOOD deeds. Take Abraham and David for example..murder, incest, rape, lies...yet they are the leaders of the Christian Faith.
The double standard is hilarious.
Here's a good example of what you're saying about women being "unclean".
Of course in some ways it's understandable. They didn't know much, if anything, about biology, and the threat of infection was much more serious during a time before modern hygiene. But times have changed! Too bad the Bible has not.
I struggle with the idea of how "we" are perceived as Atheist; maybe it's a carry over from my concern with self-perception as a Christian. In spite of that, I think we as "free thinkers" have a great opportunity to re-define the social customs (not to be confused with morals) of our society. For instance, why do I need to have a ceremony (normally religious) in order to receive life-partner benefits? Why can't I have 2 female partners? Why can't I have a male or a male and a female partner? What are the repercussions to society when I choose a partner (or partners) that isn't traditional? And can anybody tell me why I can't smoke a bowl with my friends at the Hookah bar?
But now you see the dilemma, when we have the Neo-cons pointing at me (us) and saying, "...see what happens when you don't have a Christian society?"
I agree M. I think the idea of equality puts us all into a very similar box which doesn't allow us to be who we really are. And yes, no one is any better or any worse than anyone else; we're all humans, after all.
Oh I about pissed myself reading that! Thanks so much for sharing.
I've done male oriented sports my entire life. I started martial arts when I was 8, was teaching by age 16, played football(soccer) and ice hockey through high school. I'm also one of those girls that has PMDD and crippling cramps. Woman's health was never talked about in my home. Even today it's a subject that makes me really uncomfortable. Obviously, I've been on different contraceptives to keep my biology in order for most of my life, and it quit being an issue once I talked to my doctor.
As a professional diver (and the only girl in a team of other roughty-toughty-tekkies and rebreather specialists,) it's never been a problem. I take pills, so I control my body, right? The idea of being stuck on a boat and sharing a bathroom that's a marine toilet is more of a threat to me than the diving itself, so I've always made sure to skip such an ordeal all together. Well, one night over beer, we ran into another tech team that was in town doing some dive exercises. When the other folks found out that I wasn't just a hanger-on girlfriend, one of them nearly chokes on his beer and says (Seriously, folks, I couldn't make this shit up if I tried) AREN'T YOU AFRAID OF SHARKS?
It went right over my head at first, until the Swedish member of our team (who is much more open and practical about these things than I am) started debunking female-diving related myths there at the table.
...the things I have to deal with.
Oddly enough, this guy knew more about my hormones than I did.
On a side note, though..women with breast implants can dive recreationally, but not do deep work. The expansion and contraction of the implants at great depth variances can cause tissue damage to the surrounding areas.
Further proof that my ladies are real!
I was very briefly in the U.S Coast Guard. Most of my friends are/were Marines. From my experience and theirs I can say that women have their shit together faster and better than men because they are under more pressure to perform.
When it comes to strength, endurance and physical stamina I believe that candidates ought to be chosen on performance, not gender. This means no double standards. That will inevitably lead to a disproportion of men in those areas.
If you do the same for mental aptitude, it might be about even. I'm ok with this too (or whatever the finding might be.)
I do not see gender as an issue, I see only personal strengths and weaknesses. If men and women train together they will perform as a unit. When they are trained separate and then are forced to work together, problems arise.
All combatants male or female should undergo the exact same treatment. Those that make it go on to their stations. Those that don't should be given the opportunity for reconditioning or repositioning. It's simple. There were tensions when other races were allowed into the military, and our forces got over it. They will do the same for gender.
Sure, we might see a combat force that is 70% men and 30% big, scary ladies but so what? Equal rights for equal aptitude is real fairness.
You might then see a strike team that's 70% women and 30% men. Those that are the most able to do the job (and the most willing) should.
This is interesting because it was actually when I took a Women's Studies course that I started questioning my religion. In addition to the critical thinking that I was learning my first semester of college, it was a section on women and the church that really caught my attention and left a bad taste in my mouth for not just my religion at the time, but all of them. Realization of the misogynistic tendencies of religion directly led to questioning the bible, religious officials, and eventually religion itself.